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4 numbers that could transform your sales strategy

When it comes to sales, it’s sometimes hard to know where to focus first. There are so many elements to think about, it’s not always easy to know the best way forward.

Merchants are facing lots of challenges right now, like volatile pricing, uncertain availability, rising fuel and energy prices and even recruitment issues, it can feel like a minefield.

So we thought it would be helpful to look at a really simple set of numbers that can transform your sales approach and create some brilliant quick wins.

It’s worth noting that Merchanter has over 120 KPIs as standard, so there are plenty more features and tools which can help you boost sales, profitability and efficiency. Today, we’re looking at four very specific KPIs which, when used together, can practically write your sales and marketing plan for you. In later blogs we’ll dive into more of the system’s capabilities and help you get the most back from it.

Customer analysis worth its weight in timber

Merchanter business analysis

It’s deceptively simple, but these four numbers can tell you a great deal about what’s going on in your business and where you need to focus.

New Customers

Obvious, right? This is, quite simply, the number of new customers acquired in your specified time period. So far so easy. And right underneath it, this particular image says “no change.” So, you know that this number hasn’t increased.

Once you start to use the system for a while and build up the information, you can then start to learn what your normal rate of acquisition is, and compare data over the last 30 days or six months, for example, to see where the trends and patterns are. Once you know that, you know whether you’re on track to hit targets and, crucially, whether there are gaps to fill. And if there are gaps, whether they’re perfectly normal or something to be a bit more concerned about.

What’s the action?

This metric lets you know at a glance whether you need to focus specifically on attracting new people. That might be through a marketing campaign, a sales promotion or perhaps even by using a new sales channel like NearSt, or using a marketplace platform. Whatever you choose, you have the information to hand that lets you know where to focus.

Existing Customers

You can immediately see whether this number is going up or down, so you know again where to focus your efforts. It’s much cheaper, generally speaking, to keep existing customers happy than have to go out searching for new ones, so it's a really important factor.

What’s the action?

If this number is rising steadily over time then great, though still make sure they’re happy, and look at whether you could upsell more to those customers to increase revenue.

If the number’s dropping, then you need to act fast and work out why customers aren’t returning to buy from you. There could be a whole host of reasons but critically it puts you in control and lets you know where to turn your attention.

Inactive Customers

People who have bought from you before but who haven’t been back for a while (and you can set how long this period is yourself) are a rich opportunity for quick sales. Unless there’s a very good reason for them not coming back to you, there’s a good chance that by reminding them you exist, you could encourage them back again.

You can also look at the increase / decrease to see which way the inactive customer moved – did they buy again, thereby becoming active again? Or did they slip into the dormant category, which might need more action from you?

What’s the action?

You might decide to run a promotion to entice these customers back again, or conduct some research to find out why they left. Either way, you have the information to know where to focus, and can then decide on the best way to go about winning them back again. And if there was a bad experience in the past, it’s much better to address and fix it than potentially let their bad press turn other prospective customers against you too!

Dormant Customers
Dormant customers

These are customers who haven’t bought from you for a significant period of time. It might be that they simply no longer need your services but sometimes there’s more to the story.

In this particular example, alarm bells would probably be ringing as that number is increasing.

What’s the action?

That’s up to you but you have a ready-made list of customers who have bought from you before. Like the inactive customers, there may well be some among them who could be tempted back with a good offer. But at least you have the information there at your fingertips to work with, and looking at the four numbers together can help you build a really clear picture of how your sales attraction and retention processes are working out.

It literally pays to know your numbers

Of course, not every system is the same so depending on the one you’re using, it might not be as easy to uncover these sorts of numbers. But the advantages of knowing them are potentially huge, helping you to focus sales and marketing opportunities on quicker wins rather than hoping your efforts land with the right audience.

We will continue to look at sales tools within the system over the coming weeks. If you want to check out more of them for yourself, why not sign up for online demo access, which is free for 30 days, so you can see for yourself how much easier life would be with the information Merchanter provides.

Over to you - what are the issues causing pressure for your sales team right now?


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